CLEVELAND, OH - Football made Jim Brown a legend, but the sport of lacrosse paved the way to fame. That is why Brown is teaming up with the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission (GCSC) to present the inaugural Jim Brown Lacrosse Classic, named in his honor.

"It's a dream come true for me to combine my passions for lacrosse and the City of Cleveland," said Brown, who is scheduled to appear at the October 14th event kickoff dinner for players and the public.

The tournament will be held October 14-16, 2005 at the North Olmsted Barton and Bradley Fields. It will showcase premier high school lacrosse players from all over the U.S., providing a unique and ideal opportunity for coaches to begin the college recruitment process.

"We want to grow this into one of the largest lacrosse events in the country, and we can do that with Jim Brown's support," said David Gilbert, President & CEO of the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission. "Together we plan to create a wonderful lacrosse legacy in Cleveland and the Midwest."

Brown is best known for his record-setting career as a fullback with the NFL Cleveland Browns from 1957 to 1965, for which he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. However, he first made history playing lacrosse at Syracuse University from 1955 to 1957. Under legendary coach Roy Simmons, Sr., Brown led the Orange to a perfect 10-0 record in 1957 and was a two-time All-American midfielder. His unparalleled speed is why lacrosse players must now keep their sticks in motion while carrying the ball. The rule was imposed because nothing else could to slow him down. Brown was inducted into the Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 1984 and is the only person to be enshrined in the Pro Football, College Football and Lacrosse Halls of Fame.

"I love the concept of lacrosse; it's a game played by true sportsmen," said Brown. "There isn't money to be made from it. So those who play, do it for a genuine love of the sport." A portion of the proceeds from the lacrosse tournament will be donated to Amer-I-Can, a Los Angeles based development program Brown created in 1988 in an effort to turn gang members from destructive to productive members of society. Today, Amer-I-Can is successfully operating in several U.S. cities, including Cleveland.

The Jim Brown Lacrosse Classic is just the first in a series of GCSC created events. "This is one more way to capitalize on the momentum of our past events and provide a great economic impact to our region," said Gilbert. Already, Sports Commission events have created an economic impact of more than $100 million for the community. The Greater Cleveland Sports Commission is the nonprofit organization whose mission is to measurably enhance the economy, image and quality of life in the Greater Cleveland Community by attracting and creating significant sporting events and activities.

Contact (s):
July 28, 2005 Chante Jefferson, 216.363.1128
Meredith Scerba, 216.363.1769

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